Pamukkale: the sight that was nearly loved to death.
Pamukkale Travel Blog› entry 159 of 251 › view all entries
July 21st, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Hallelujah, we managed to beat most of the tour buses to Pamukkale! We arrived at the gate just before the opening time of 8am and it was relatively quiet. We parked at the north gate (many buses were parked at the south gate) and walked in to the main event… the travertine terraces.
You may have seen photos of this incredible place -- bright white formations protruding and “dripping” from the mountainside, filled with shimmering blue water. I was surprised to see in photos that people were actually bathing in them…don’t the formations get dirty? WELL, the answer is YES, they do.
Finally, someone figured out that their main attraction was no longer attractive, and things are now being done to try to restore the site to its former glory. A road ramp they had been inexplicably built into the terraces in the 1980’s (I think) has been turned into artificial pools, which at least look better. This area is the only place open for tourists to walk through. Water is also being dammed and rerouted and made to go to the “right places.” The terraces are gorgeous even without the water, but to compare the photos between then and now… well, they still have a ways to go.
The surprise bonus of the visit was the ancient city of Hierapolis. This was a “spa town” built near the terraces, and is now a gorgeous ruin adjacent to them. We walked down to the end on a boardwalk and then walked back through the ruins in the increasing heat. The ruins were surrounded by golden grass and cypress trees -- wonderful! It really alleviated the disappointment we felt at Pamukkale.
It was scorching hot when we got to the car. We were so happy to blast the AC, not that it had much effect. We went back and checked out of the hotel, then settled in for the drive. As we took off we debated whether or not to go to the ancient site of Aphrodias. It a huge draw in this area, and we all felt we SHOULD go…but we didn’t really want to. We would be arriving at the hottest, busiest time of the day. In the end we decided to skip it, and felt vaguely guilty for THAT, too.
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